Add reverses to your textures
Here, we’re filling in the gaps between phrases with some tone and spaceenhanced reversed sounds, to add an ethereal atmosphere Sometimes the ‘right sound’ to fill in the gaps between musical phrases isn’t a new instrument, but a ‘version’ of the lead sound itself. In the following example, we’ve programmed a moody piano sound with some tempting gaps between phrases into which we’d like to place a haunting, atmospheric sound. A reversed version of the piano seems like a good choice, especially when we treat it with its own tone and spatial treatment and look to make each reversed slice occupy its own part of the stereo field by automating pan. Be careful with how you reverse the original piano and also which sections of each phrase we retain. If you like this idea but want to use a different sound to create the ‘reversed slices’, go for it. Creating a ‘pair’ of instruments – one forwards, one reversed – can be hugely effective.
We start by programming a moody piano part at 70bpm. The piano sound is called ‘Dark Score’, from Spectrasonics’ Keyscape library. We deliberately leave long pauses in the second bar of each chord as this provides us with a gap we’ll be able to fill with a reversed sound.
We render the piano part and place it on a new audio track. We don’t want to reverse the entire sequence as that would place the final chord under the first one. Instead, we chop the sequence into two-bar blocks and reverse each one, so that each chord ‘stays in position’.
We move each chord later, so that the long reversed build-up is preserved but the high notes are omitted from each chord. We then pan each so they move from one side to another under the original piano part, add a touch of EQ and reverb and short fades to remove any clicks.